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Catherine Johnstone CBE

Catherine Johnstone CBE

CEO,
Royal Voluntary Service

Catherine became Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary service in August 2017. A trained nurse, she has extensive experience building sustainable services, driving innovation and inspiring and enabling volunteers, garnered over 25 years in the third sector. Her key passions are frontline service delivery and enabling the gift of voluntary service. Before joining Royal Voluntary Service, Catherine was Chief Executive of Samaritans, which provides confidential support to anyone experiencing a tough time in their life. Whilst at the helm for almost 7 years, Catherine was responsible for building long term sustainable partnerships and delivering a long term strategy to revitalise and future proof the charity. This resulted in her being awarded a CBE in 2016 for services to suicide prevention. Prior to Samaritans, Catherine was Chief Executive of Capacitybuilders, a funding agency designed to improve infrastructure support to the voluntary sector. Currently a Board member of HelpForce, a newly created Community Interest Company that is seeking to support the NHS to embed voluntary service. Catherine is particularly proud of her five children and two grandchildren who keep her grounded and eternally entertained and busy.

  • Defining the volunteer journey – What makes for a successful volunteer experience?
  • Assessing the diverse pathways into volunteering and how organisation can support the development of their volunteers
  • Exploring how voluntary organisations can harness the skills and expertise of new volunteers to enhance social outcomes
  • Understanding the needs and requirements of volunteers to deliver training and skill development to support a long-term volunteering workforce
  • Discussing how volunteers can be recognised and rewarded and driven to feel part of wider social objectives